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"As If You Could Do That"
As a Reaganite, Noonan must have recognized that elite condescension instantly, allergically. It's similar to the condescension 50s and 60s elites felt for fervent anti-Communists, and almost precisely the condescension Nixon-Moynihan-liberal welfare give-them-cash reformers of the 70s felt for those rustic, unsophisticated voters who actually wanted welfare recipients to work--as if you could do that!--rather than receive cleverly-designed guaranteed income payments. One of the great things about America is that this sort of condescension is almost always pure political poison in the long run (and usually in the short run). In the 70s, then-governor Reagan labelled Nixon's sophisticated guaranteed income plan a "megadole." The rest is history! We're still waiting for the politician to credibly take on the equivalent Bush-McCain-liberal pro-amnesty consensus--and its disdain for those rustic, unsophisticated voters who actually want resident illegals to return to their home countries and get in line before they're legalized. As if you could do that! ...
In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal publishes this self-revelatory editorial:
We get the same message from nearly every business executive who comes through our offices: Without immigrants, they couldn't possibly find enough willing workers to do the available work, no matter what the available wages. Yet Republicans seem intent not merely on increasing border patrols but also on further harassing law-abiding businesses that happen to hire illegals, as if anyone can tell the difference between real and fake immigration documents. Only Republicans would think it's smart politics to punish their supporters for hiring willing workers.
OK, Big Business supports the Republican Party financially, but how many votes does the Business Round Table have? A hundred and sixty votes, that's how many. But there are a lot of displaced American workers in the Republican voting base.